Safer Green Cleaning in the Time of Coronavirus
The spread of the new COVID-19 illness has been unsettling for all of us. We want to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our family, and we’re bombarded with new recommendations every day on how to stay safe. Working from home, social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting – it can feel overwhelming at times.
Among all the recommendations, there is one source that’s critical to follow – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC’s website has clear, commonsense guidelines on the best ways to avoid being exposed to COIVID-19, what to do if you or someone in your family is sick, and how to help keep your community safe.
By now, we all now know how to correctly wash our hands – every media outlet, governmental source, friend and relative has been repeating this important information. We all now know the importance of disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. But what we’re not hearing much about are the unintended negative effects of good hygiene practices on people with skin sensitivities and health conditions. Some of us can be predisposed to adverse reactions from harsh chemicals. Even those without sensitivities are feeling the effects of frequent hand washing and sanitizing, which can dry out skin.
Is there a better way to protect yourself from pathogens while dealing with issues like allergies, asthma or eczema? Is it possible to clean your hands and your home effectively while still cleaning “green”?
The answer is yes; there are smarter ways to clean – ways that help protect you from pathogens while also protecting your health and the health of the planet.
Smarter hand washing
- According to the CDC, hand washing with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Follow the CDC’s guidelines on how and when to wash your hands here.
- Keep in mind that frequent use of soap and hand sanitizers may strip the outer layer of oil that protects your skin from pathogens.
- If possible, use a hand soap, like ECOS hand soap, that is hypoallergenic and pH balanced to help protect your skin’s natural barrier.
The best way to disinfect surfaces
- Current evidence suggests that the novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours or even days on a variety of surfaces.
- According to the CDC, cleaning visibly dirty surfaces first, then disinfecting, is a best practice measure for preventing COVID-19.
- Cleaning with a general surface cleaner helps disinfectants and sanitizers work more effectively by reducing germs and removing dirt and impurities, which allows disinfectants and sanitizers to better kill viruses and lower the risk of spreading infection.
- After cleaning with a general surface cleaner like ECOS All-Purpose Cleaner, apply disinfectant or sanitizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- After cleaning and disinfecting, we recommend re-applying an ECOS cleaner and wiping the surface down to remove any chemical residue.
Laundry can harbor germs too
- To help stop the spread of germs, the CDC recommends covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, but if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.
- Pathogens can remain on porous surfaces like fabric, so be sure to wash clothes regularly.
- The CDC recommends laundering items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and drying them completely.
- Set a timer on your phone to remind yourself when it’s time to move your laundry to the dryer.
- For sensitive skin, look for a laundry detergent like ECOS Free & Clear Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent that’s dye-free and fragrance-free.
Washing produce is important
- Produce purchased at a grocery store could have been be handled by other shoppers, so it’s a smart idea to wash fruits and veggies before you use them.
- Use a fruit and vegetable wash to help clean produce – even organic produce can retain dirt and bacteria from the fields.
- ECOS Fruit + Veggie Wash contains a safer plant-derived surfactant that helps remove unwanted residues and contaminants.
Read the label
- Know the chemicals you bring into your home, especially if you have existing health problems or skin sensitivities.
- Some ingredients in traditional cleaning products have been linked to allergies, asthma, eczema and even serious illnesses like cancer.
- Disclosing ingredients isn’t required in the cleaning products industry, so look for brands that list ingredients on the label.
- Look for products that are certified Safer Choice by the U.S. EPA – Safer Choice means that every ingredient in the product is the safest in its class and that it has met high standards for performance.